Video Games

A Few Hopes for Horizon Forbidden West

Last week, Sony and Guerilla Games announced that Horizon Forbidden West (the sequel to Horizon Zero Dawn) will be released for the PS5 sometime in 2021. The announcement trailer didn’t have a ton of hints about what the game will contain apart from more machines, more world, and more apocalypse, but there’s only so much one can expect from three and a half minutes. So, before anymore information about the game is released, I want to put my hopes for it out into the world.

First of all, I am pumped as hell about the underwater exploration. My ability to manage underwater controls has always been a hit or miss, but I’m excited anyway because nothing compares to the thrill of finding a treasure chest at the bottom of a lake. There are bound to be ruins and maybe even a shipwreck to explore. That is excellent.

But if I might make a suggestion… If it’s not too much trouble…

I also want to fly.

Please let me ride a bird-machine. My argument for this is it would be really cool.

Climbing was a pretty important aspect of Horizon Zero Dawn, and I wouldn’t change that for the world, nor would I want to miss all the important and detailed world-building that’s happening on the ground by just flying everywhere. But… maybe just for one mission. I crave that bird’s eye view and that freedom. Horizon Forbidden West and the new capabilities of the PS5 promise a stunning, low-load time, detailed game play experience, and I want the chance to soar over the stunning vistas myself.

That’s really a surface-level wish, though. I have a few more fervent hopes for the direction that Horizon Forbidden West will take. Vistas are all well and good, but characters are the heart of a good story, and as I’ve mentioned before, it’s stories that draw me into games above all else. Horizon Zero Dawn had a large cast of characters, which made it even more impressive that they were all so unique and interesting. Everyone had their own background and life and nothing felt copy-pasted to fill in the world. Horizon Forbidden West has promised a larger, more detailed map to explore in the PS5 and I hope that that detail doesn’t just extend to the art and graphics.

Which are gorgeous by the way.

I’m excited to explore the new tribes and meet new allies and enemies for Aloy, and I have every faith that in expanding the world, the team hasn’t stretched it thin. However, the game has a lot to live up to after the ending scene of Horizon Zero Dawn, the culmination of Aloy’s emotional journey, made me cry.

Aloy’s personal journey through Horizon Zero Dawn was, on the surface, about finding her mother, which was a pretty clear symbol for finding a past and a home she could connect to when those who should have been her community failed her. She was also, in a couple of different ways, finding herself. We got to watch her become someone with an overwhelming sense of duty to those around her, someone who takes her responsibility towards humanity and the world with great gravity. She brings this mindset with her into the next game.

This mission is mine alone. If I falter, if I fail… there won’t be anyone left to stop what’s coming.

Aloy is everything I wanted to be when I was younger: determined and passionate and ready to do anything to save the world. It is, to an extent, who I’m still striving to be. However, it is my hope that this Aloy is the one we’ll see at the beginning of the game and that by the end we’ll see someone who has learned that she doesn’t have to undertake this mission alone. In Horizon Zero Dawn she learned what Rost tried to teach her: that she should strive to help others. I hope that in Horizon Forbidden West she’ll take the next step in healing and forging a connection to community: that she should trust others to help her in return.

Do you have any wishes for Horizon Forbidden West? Let me know in the comments below!

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